Category Archives: Fuji Pro Tips

Survey Please! Production X-t2…Images…..more


img_main01Well I finally received my production model of the Fujifilm X-T2. I could totally post my review but it wouldn’t be much different from some of the the reviews with high praise found all over these days. Plus I need to get packed and ready for my next 4 and final photography workshops of 2016.I’m off to Acadia NP, The Smoky’s , Zion NP then to Whidbey Island over the next 4 weeks+ easy to enjoy making some new images! My quick review is—get your hands on this camera–you probably won’t let go! Continue reading Survey Please! Production X-t2…Images…..more


Images and Text ©Jack Graham, all rights reserved

The lone anticipated FUJIFILM X-T2 has just been announced. I have been fortunate to have been one of the “Chosen” Fuji “X” photographers to have a pre-production model of this new among camera for about quite a while. Impressive is certainly not enough to label this camera. It’s been one of the hardest things not to be able to talk at length about the new FUJIFILM X-T2 but finally, the time has come! Continue reading FUJIFILM X-T2—-FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Why do I need a 16mm f 1.4 lens?

chevy by bill fortneyIf you already own the Fuji 10-24 f 4 XF lens, or the Fuji 16-55 f 2.8 XF lens, why would you invest in the new Fuji 16mm f 1.4 lens?? I just got a new production copy of the 16mm f 1.4 XF lens and I was wondering the same thing!!!

First let me dispel what many people believe about extreme wide angle lenses, that they are designed so we, as photographers, can take in more area in our images.  It is true that the wider the lens, the wider the angle of view, and thus; more stuff in the image. That’s not the most effective way to use a wide angle lens though!  A very effective way to use a wide angle lens is to move in close to your main subject and make it the sharpest thing in the image, and then allow the background to either be equally sharp, by stopping down to a very small aperture setting like f 11 – 16 or 22, or to make the background “very” out of focus, by opening the lens to its largest aperture setting.  Therein lies the value of a f 1.4 wide angle lens, the depth-of-field is extremely shallow when shot wide open (f 1.4) thus making the background a very dreamy out of focus!!!

violets by bill fortney

An important part of the photographer’s bag of tricks is to use shallow depth-of-field effectively, to focus the viewer’s eye on a main subject, letting the rest of the image go out of focus.  I went over to my neighbor’s garden and then down to a used car lot that had a very interesting 1949 Chevy wrecker I had been wanting to photograph.  All images were shot at f 1.4 to show the effectiveness of a shallow area of sharp focus.

old truck by bill fortneySo how does the news Fuji 16mm f 1.4 XF lens do?  I will let you judge.  But at 100% on my computer screen, the in-focus areas are razor sharp.  The color quality of the new lens is outstanding and the build quality is rock solid.  The 16mm also has a clutch focusing mechanism that allows smoother and deadly accurate manual focusing, however the autofocus is among the fastest and most accurate yet!

black beauty by bill fortneyOK … I already own the 10-24 and the 16-55, but this one is staying in my camera locker, for very special assignments that requires its lovely abilities!!!

Well done, Fuji … another Five Star Winner!

~ Bill Fortney

For more information, visit

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Bill Fortney, NPS

Sorting out the lens maze…….

Fuji has offered a bewildering choice of both single focal length and zoom lenses!  How do you decide which you need???!!!

May I offer some thoughts?  I happen to own almost all of them and you might be wondering, along with my wife, why? Actually there is good reason to own a few of each.

If you are a nature, landscape or outdoor shooter the three lens package of the 10-24, 16-55, and 50-140 will cover all the bases, and adding the 60mm Micro doesn’t add much weight and really completes the package!  Want to save a little money, OK. Try the 10-24, 18-55, and the 55-200, plus the 60 Micro, and you have saved weight and money, and these are all still superb lenses!

camera bag set up

Really want to save weight for a travel system?  How about the very versatile and tack sharp 18-135, teamed up with the very sharp and wonderfully compact 14mm f2.8!

OK. We have some zoom ideas but how about the single focal length lenses!  If you want the very best optical performance and the fastest lenses for available light work the f1.4 and f1.2 lenses really rule.  In the pre zoom days every photojournalist, (Kings of low light), had a 24mm, a 35mm, a 50mm, and a 85mm plus a 180mm all at fast speeds!!!  In the Fuji system you can have all these (except the 180mm) at f1.4 to f1.2!!!!!!!  The 90mm f 2, which should be available this spring or summer, gets you close with an “effective” 135mm @ f2!  The other big advantage to speed lenses is the great shallow depth of field effects that are possible.

A word about the two newest lenses that I’ve been able to pick up and shoot, the new 16-55 f2.8 and the 50-140 f2.8.  Both are among the sharpest lenses of those focal lengths I’ve ever shot!!!!!  The OIS in the 50-140 is so effective that even an old codger like me can get tack sharp images at 140mm (200mm equiv.) at 1/8th of a second – it’s truly amazing!

Which are my favorites????  Not a fair question!  I truly love them all!  The 10-24, the 16-55 and the 50-140 get the most use, but the 56 f1.2, and the 23 f1.4 are two of my favorites. But then the 16 f1.4 is getting rave reviews – I really want to try it out!   The promised 120 mm Micro is already on my wish list big time, and of course the 90 mm f2 … geeez … this is a disease, but a fun one!!!